I frequently disagree with what you have to say, but I like reading you anyway, because you are a courageous and individual voice, in an era of collectivist mush.
I let many of your pieces pass in silence, both the ones I think are mistaken or wrong-headed, and the ones I think quite admirable. But at a time like this, I thought I should write you, not just for your own benefit, but as something you are welcome to pass on to readers.
You are not alone. Jews are not alone. Israelis are not alone. I am one of countless Canadians disgusted and appalled by the stands, if they can be called that, by our government.
My ex-wife, a very intelligent woman who is a lawyer in Toronto, telephoned me the other night because she was, like me, revolted by the way this country’s political leaders (and countless others) are responding to the recent acts of Israeli self defense. “Bill Graham,” she told me, “was one of my professors at the University of Toronto law school. He was a wimp then, and he’s a wimp now.”
My ex-wife is not Jewish, even remotely; she is Russian Doukhobor on her mother’s side, and Wasp on the other. I am a Scottish Canadian, both sides of my family.
I am seriously considering trying to organize a public lobby group called ‘Gentiles for Israel’ or something of the sort. I am not without sympathy for the Palestinians, or the Arabs in general, or Muslims. I am not a Zionist, or quasi-Zionist, nor a man with any vested interest in advancing Jewish interests.
But I have not lost my sense of right and wrong, my respect for ordinary moral decencies, or my resistance to fashionable argument. I know the same to be true about my family, my Wasp friends, the young people I teach.
I do disagree with you in your assumption that the morally contemptible behavior of modern European states is rooted in anti-Semitism. I don’t deny that the latter exists, and continues to be a malignant force. But I think you would have to admit that you see something similar in modern anti-Americanism, the cheering on of thugs and scum worldwide, etc.
You have correctly identified evil, Howard, but I think you are mistaken in its nature. The fact is, even if Israel were to be destroyed and wiped off the map, the evil and foolish people who helped bring it about would not be satisfied, and would move quickly to new targets.
Their real driving force is not hatred of Jews, but hatred of truth. I am not always fond of Hannah Arendt – I thought there were a lot of things wrong with her book about Eichmann in Jerusalem – but sometimes she was dead on.
She said once, “The purpose of propaganda is not to convince. The purpose of propaganda is to destroy the conviction that the truth can be known.” But it can. And it wins in the end.
RESPONSE: By Howard Galganov
I wholeheartedly agree with everything written in the preceding by Neil Cameron, with one clarification. Neil alludes that I believe, that evil in the Arab Middle East is restricted to their hatred of Jews. I am not so deluded.
The thugs; religious and political who run things over there, hate democracy and modernity far more than they hate Jews.
As a matter of fact, if anyone is paying attention, the Palestinian murderers are bombing US style pizza parlors, discotheques, restaurants and shopping malls. They are not attacking places and people of worship. It is quite evident, at least it is to me, that the killers of Jews in the Middle East are attacking those Israeli targets that more or less represent the world’s Western expressions. Not Judaism.
I have written about this reality several times in the past. I contend, if Israel were wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow, the Middle Eastern Arabs would find a different reason to hate the West, and would continue to visit their death and destruction on our shores.